Running With Your Cockapoo

A question I see a lot in Facebook groups is “Can I take my Cockapoo running with me?”.

The answer is yes, you can and you should. Like their parent dog breeds, poodles and cocker spaniels, They love to run, have lots of energy and healthy stamina, which means they need lots of exercise. Cockapoos have a lot of great qualities that make them suitable running buddies. Also, taking time out to run with your cockapoo every day is a great way of spending time together and building a strong bond with your companion.

However, you must wait until their joints and bones are properly developed. Don’t try taking out out a cockapoo puppy, especially if they are 6 months old or younger. Even if your cockapoo buddy appears to love being your running partner at an early age, you could be doing longterm damage. Even though they may look like they are loving it, you could be doing their tiny joints damage which could cause them problems later in life.

Instead, wait until they are 18 months or older. By then, their joints will be fully developed.

Things You Need to Make Sure Before Taking Your Cockapoo Running

So we know that cockapoos as a dog breed, in general, are a suitable running partner. However, there are some things you need to make sure of with your own cockapoo before you start taking it out for exercise. As a starter, you need to take your dog to the vets. It’s never good to make them have too much exercise in the beginning anyway.

Other things you need to make sure include the following.

Desire and Energy Level

Cockapoos are considered to have a moderate level of energy, but that doesn’t mean all dogs will be the same. Some cocker spaniels and poodles are very lazy. Even if your cockapoo is not interested in running, they will probably love walking. Regardless, you should always be dog-led, or in this case, cockapoo-led when it comes to setting the pace.

Another crucial consideration you need to make before taking your cockapoo out walking, jogging or running is whether your dog has any underlying health issues. Like their owners, although cockapoos are normally a very healthy breed, you will always find exceptions. Heart issues and hip or knee problems are not unheard of with cockapoos. When planning to do any level of exercise with your dog, be mindful of their health.

Injury

Following nicely on from the above point, if your dog is injured in any way, it is not a good idea to take them out for some exercise. Obviously, you need to listen to what the vets say, just as you would listen to a human doctor’s advice if you were ill, but it is best to wait until your dog is fully recovered before taking them out for any runs.

Weight

Is your dog overweight? You may be thinking that exercise is just what your cockapoo needs to be fit and healthy. While the sentiment is at least right, jogging, running or even too much walking may not be the best idea for a dog with a weight problem. Bear in mind that any additional weight beyond what is expected for his or her size and age will put additional strain on their bones and joints.

All that pressure will only lead to more serious health issues and injuries if you insist on making your cockapoo go out for a run. Although it will depend on your own dog, cockapoos should be between 12 and 24 pounds (that’s between 5.4 and 10.9 Kg) before you decide to go out jogging or running for some exercise with your furry companion.

Why Are Cockapoos Great Running Partners?

The simple reason why your cockapoo is a great running companion is simple. They love to run. Although it may not be quite as well built for running as a Weimaraner, vizsla or husky, they still have a lot of great qualities that make them suitable for athletic exercise.

Energy and Stamina

Cockapoos like most dogs, tend to be able to run faster than their human owners. The average speed of a healthy adult cockapoo is around 20 to 25 mph. If your dog is not able to keep up with you or even overtake you regularly, it could be the sign of a problem.

One of the reasons why a dog may not be the best jogging companion is their endurance. However, with cockapoos, this does not tend to be an issue. Stamina is also one of these things that you can work on with your dog and improve upon. Typically, all healthy dogs should be able to run or jog for at least 1 to 2 miles with practice.

The great thing about cockapoos is that they can usually run further than that. If you are just starting out though, don’t try to run before you can walk with your dog. Remember that you need to introduce them to physical exercise, slowly and progressively. If you make your cockapoo do too much exercise initially, you could cause real problems for your canine buddy.

Size

Of course, not every dog is the same size, and as such, you will find that most experts agree that medium-sized dogs are better suited in terms of the build for running. A smaller dog may have trouble keeping up a reasonable pace over long distances, whereas a larger pooch could suffer an injury if they did too much exercise.

As cockapoos are on the smaller side of the medium-sized dog category, they are good running companions.

How Many Mile Should You Run With a Cockapoo?

Part of the reason why many people get dogs in the first place is to encourage them to take part in more physical activity and exercise. It’s something that all dogs like and even if cockapoos are not greyhounds, they can still give pet owners a run for their money, so to speak. In terms of the actual distances they can run or jog for, it will depend greatly on your own canine buddy, but you can expect him or her, if they are in good health, to be fine covering around 3 to 5 miles easily.

It is important to properly prepare before you do any form of physical activity with your cockapoo, though. Over time, the more you go running, jogging or walking with your dog, the better they will get. But it needs to be gradual.

To give you some help, we have put together a guide to some tips you can follow.

Some Tips

Start Small

Just like us, it’s not advisable to just take them out for 10 miles on their first-ever run. Instead, start small and slowly build up over time. 

When you first take your Cockapoo for a run its advisable to just go out for a few kilometres or so to see how they get on. You might find that they are running all over the place and are almost tripping you up with the lead going in front of you. My cockapoo always walks on my left-hand side, and naturally, when we go running she runs on that side, however, she will still sometimes decide she wants to run right across me, so it’s worth keeping an eye on them at all times.

Park Runs

My ideal run with Luna is our local park run. Dogs are allowed to run as long as they were with people and Luna gets lots of attention off other runners. Luna is a lot faster than me, as I’m not a great runner, so I do feel like I am holding her back at times.

We have probably done 20 or so runs together now and there’s always loads of other dogs with their people and sometimes some other Cockapoos.

Bigger Runs

I’ve only done a few larger runs with Luna as I’m not a big long-distance runner. I’ve read a lot on Facebook about some taking their dogs on massive runs (10 to 12 miles) and their dogs cope fine. I’m not a vet or dog expert but if I was to do runs that big I wouldn’t do them that often and make sure that I take plenty of small breaks to make sure they are ok.

Listen To Your Cockapoo

We have all heard the phrase “listen to your body” when we have worked out too hard and need a rest. Unfortunately, your waggly tailed buddy can’t talk to us and tell us that we need a break. However, you should be able to tell from your dog’s body language when they need to go a bit slower or take a break. At times you may feel like your cockapoo is loving it and isn’t stopping, but if you decided you wanted to run 100 miles, chances are your dog would want to do the whole 100 with you because you are in their pack and they want to be with you.

Cockapoos are a mix of 2 energetic breeds (the spaniel and poodle) but they are still not as good a runner as some breeds of dog that were purposely bred for running or hunting.

Keep An Eye On The Weather

If you are a dedicated runner then you probably run whatever the weather. Our dogs, on the other hand, are constantly wearing a furry coat 24 hours a day. This means that if it’s too hot then you really shouldn’t be taking your dog for a run. They will get hotter a lot faster than you do and you don’t want them collapsing on you.

There are also times when it will be too cold for running. You don’t want your dog slipping on the ice and injuring themselves.

What Should You Take With You?

Nobody wants their hands full with them when they are running. That’s why you should maybe take a look at buying a running belt. You can put your water bottle inside these, your dog poo bags and a few treats or too. This should make your running easier and allow you to keep your hands free.

What Kind Of Lead? Do You Need a Dog Harness?

I just run or jog with leads that’s a bit longer than normal leads. Its a got a bit of a spring in the lead which feels nice when I’m running.

If I was to run more then I’d maybe take a look at a proper running lead with a harness that fits around her waist. This allows you to be hands-free when you jog or run or are involved in any physical activity and it’s maybe something I’ll try when I become a bit more confident running with Luna.

Get Out There and Run With Your Cockapoo

So, yes, given their cocker spaniel and poodle heritage, this type of dog can be an excellent partner to take on a jog. As all dogs are different, there is no one rule that can be applied them all. Some are better runners than others. Take your time with your cockapoo and when you make the decision that it is time to jog, always take care and follow your dog’s needs. Be sure to pack lots of water for you both and most importantly of all, enjoy the jog and time spent with your cockapoo.